THE MERCHANT btill'.fc'EK 15
The necessity of arranging for the bill of lading to be
placed in the steamer's mail, is the security that the bill of
lading shall be in the hands of the receiver when the goods
arrive, thereby preventing delay. If it is possible to for-
ward these documents by a mail steamer or airmail, which
arrives earlier, giving additional time for clearance arrange-
ments to be made, this has even greater advantages. Some
foreign countries inflict fines if cargo arrives and no docu-
ment has been received for its clearance.
In order to ensure the safe arrival of the document,
another bill of lading may be forwarded by following
mail, or by an alternative route, in case the first bill of
lading should be mislaid and cause inconvenience. The
legal position in relation to the issue of a first and second
bill of lading is referred to under another chapter.
Where a merchant is forwarding goods to a receiver of
whom he has little knowledge, or whose financial status is
insufficient to give him the desired confidence, he may
avail himself of the opportunity of placing the documents
through a bank, thus ensuring himself of his charges, and
avoiding any sense of insecurity.
The documents are handed to the bankers with bill of
exchange, insurance policy, and a letter of hypothecation, in
return for which the bank either meets the charges of the
invoice, or credits the account of the merchant at a future
The letter 9! hypothecation is, briefly, a document which
gives the holder the right, if the charges are not forthcoming
or if a bill of exchange has been received and such a bill
is dishonoured, to sell the goods on arrival and take the
proceeds to recoup him for his advance.
By this method the merchant is assured of his money
and has no fear of suffering a loss upon the shipment.
Another method of foreign trade finance is by way of
consignment accounts when the merchant here does not
sell the goods to the consignee. The consignee receives the
goods and arranges for their disposal. Whilst he has them
in his possession they still remain the property of the